Sunday, November 06, 2005

Balanchine, Erin Mahoney-Du

Last night, mom and I went to see the Washington Ballet perform Balanchine's Seranade, a Septime Webre's Carmen, and Twyla Tharp's 9 Sinatra Songs. Michele Jimenez was indeed a passionate Carmen, but my favorite dancer of the evening was Erin Mahoney-Du--a tall and even athletic woman with long limbs. Her movements were graceful but at the same time she looked like she might loose control at any moment--this is a good thing. Her dancing was somehow both reckless and precise--perfect for Balanchine choreography, the tough factory girl/spanish dancer in Carmen, and the precarious lifts in the Twyla Tharp piece. She is also a soloist with the Susan Farrell Ballet. This makes sense. Suzan Farrell danced with and was trained by Balanchine from age 15.

A shout out also goes to Brianne Bland, who danced beautifully in Seranade.

This was the first time I'd seen any Balanchine performed live. Seranade was the first Balanchine ballet made in the US (June 10, 1934) set to Tchaikovsky's Seranade in C Major for strings. Seranade has no plot, which was of course shocking in 1934. Seeing ballerinas in point shoes, with their strong, sharp movement was even shocking to me last night. I study modern dance, I've spent a lot of time on Hawkins technique (a student of Balanchine before he joined Martha Graham's company). I heart Isadora Duncan, and Denishawn, I have no problem with a lack of plot. But, ah, it was classical and modern at the same time, the corps was beautiful.

The whole thing excited me so much that I stayed for a ballet class after jazz this afternoon. However, despite feeling aesthetically elated, I feel like someone has poured cement into my hip sockets, especially on the left. Ach.

A very good visit with mum.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I see that you've studied Hawkin's technique. Where can one find good Hawkin's teachers these days (across the U.S.)?

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